Batman Wiki
Advertisement
Batman Wiki

Gentleman Ghost, formerly known as "Gentleman" Jim Craddock was originally a Hawkman foe, though the spectral charlatan also battles Batman several times. He wore a white suit and pipe hat and used a variety of ghost-like weapons including twin pistols and a staff.

History

Origins & Pre-Crisis

"Gentleman Ghost" Jim Craddock is the son of an English gentleman who abandoned both Jim and his mother, forcing them into poverty. Craddock grew up to become a notorious highwayman and robber who terrorized England in the 1800s. He journeys to the United States and encounters the gunslingers Nighthawk and Cinnamon. The hot-headed Nighthawk lynches Craddock after wrongly assuming that he sexually assaulted Cinnamon, but Craddock somehow eludes death to rise again as a phantom.

Gentleman Ghost became a recurring nemesis of Hawkman and Hawkgirl during the 1940s. Craddock has over the decades menaced other heroes, including Batman and Superman, but the vengeful Ghost always returned to his main foe, Hawkman.

As he continued appearing, it became more evident that Gentleman Ghost was not truly evil but rather a more neutral figure who despite his penchant for crime, had a legitimate moral compass and proved himself to be a good ally. At one point, Ghost became lovers with a living Romani fortune-teller who was completely blind. He attempted to steal magical relics to restore her sight but was foiled by Hawkman and Hawk-Girl. In another story, Gentleman Ghost assisted in putting to rest the souls of many Thanagarian ghosts which had been slain by Hawkman to protect Earth and were haunting him.

Originally in comics it was implied that Craddock was not truly a ghost but rather an illusion created by a legitimate criminal. This implication was dropped however relatively quickly into Gentleman Ghost's appearances in favour of making him an actual spirit. This origin is briefly reconsidered in his early run-ins with Batman however.

Post-Crisis

The Gentleman Ghost was a Hawkman foe through 1975's JLA # 128, but in the late 1970s, the Gentleman Ghost began alighting as a Batman foe, first encountering Batman in BATMAN #310 and #319.

In one tale, the Ghost even kidnapped and hypnotized Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth. Shortly after, in Detective Comics #526, the Gentleman Ghost, now considered one of Gotham City's established supervillains, was invited to a large villain gathering by the Joker, to alert the villains to the fact that the upstart Killer Croc had sworn to kill Batman within twenty-four hours. This, as the Joker reasoned, would be "stealing the thunder" from the long-established members of Batman's rogues gallery.

Thus, the villains split into separate teams to search the city and kill Batman before Killer Croc could do so himself. The Ghost was paired with Killer Moth and Clayface II. Two-Face agreed to come as well after a toss of the coin, to which Killer Moth silently remarked that Gentleman Ghost would've killed the two-faced villain otherwise. While searching out Batman and Killer Croc at an abandoned factory, the criminals were intercepted by Batgirl and Robin, who soundly defeated them. The Ghost next clashed with Batman in Detective Comics #326, 1983.

Following the debut of Jason Todd as the new Robin, The Gentleman Ghost left Gotham and returned his attention to Hawkman.

Most recently, he is seen alongside two other old Batman rogues: Crazy Quilt and the original Black Spider, as some of the villains sent to retrieve the Get Out of Hell Free card from the Secret Six.

Powers/abilities

Spectral: Gentleman ghost has the spectral abilities to phase through solid objects as well as make himself invisible. In fact, his appearance of a floating hat and monacle is him using his invisibility to hide his decayed face. He also has the ability to touch someone and cause a feeling of intense cold wherever he touched them.

Magic: Ghost's cane can shoot purple spectral fire from the skull on top. He has also be shown using it to give life to inanimate objects such as turning a light pole into a giant snake.

Teleportation: Craddock can teleport as short as a couple rooms to across states. He can even teleport to other dimensions.

Weaponry: Craddock can summon two flintlock pistols, with which he is an adequate marksman with. The pistols shoot magic bullets that can explode on impact.

Hand-to-hand: Gentleman ghost has been sometimes shown as a formidable fighter with just his bare hands, though this may have just been in his The Brave and The Bold incarnation.

In Other Media

  • Super-Friends: Gentleman Ghost was a villain of the week in this show.
  • DCAU: Gentleman Ghost appears as a member of Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society of Super Villains on the animated television series Justice League. He appears being chased by the Green Lantern but is caught by a net.
Gentlemanghost

Gentleman Ghost as he appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In the show, "Gentleman Jim" Craddock was a notorious highway man. He was later charged by the demon Astaroth to collect ten souls and return Astaroth to Earth. In the Underworld, Astaroth gave Craddock his promised immortality but Batman and Etrigan soon defeated the demon. Craddock was sentenced to death but his ghost returned from the grave swearing revenge on the Dark Knight

During the Day of the Dead, Gentleman Ghost looted a city and was pursued by Batman and Plastic Man. He was eventually captured in a cemetery thanks to Batman's "nth metal" knuckles and a net.

Gentleman Ghost attempted to raise an army of the dead using three artifacts. He even buried Batman at one point. However, with some help from Deadman, Speedy, and Green Arrow, Gentleman Ghost's army turned on him and dragged him to the underworld.

  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame: In the game, Gentleman Ghost was the main villain of the third episode where he lured Batman (and Hawkman) into London's underground and then the underworld in an attempt to get his life back by offering Batman to the Demon Astaroth, in reference to the cartoon episode "Trials of the Demon."
  • Batman: Arkham City: While not appearing in the game itself, Gentleman Ghost is referenced in the video game. In the subterranean Wonder City, there is a shop called Gentleman's Hats and Accessories where their logo is a disembodied top-hat, monocle and cloak collar; clearly referencing the Ghost. Additionally, inside of the shop's window display there is a toy "ghost-train".
Advertisement